With the establishment of the Institute for Literature in 1948, the Dept. of Bulgarian Literature until the Liberation was established, which united specialists in Old Bulgarian and Revival literature. Its first and long-term leader (1948-1983) was Acad. Petar Dinekov. From 1983 to 1989 the department was headed by Prof. Docho Lekov. In 1989 the department was divided into two: "Old Bulgarian Literature" and "Bulgarian Revival Literature". Prof. D. Lekov continued to be the Head of the department until 1993.
The Department of New and Contemporary Bulgarian Literature is a major scholarly unit in the structure of the Institute for Literature at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. When the Institute was established, the department was focused on the study of Bulgarian literature after the Liberation. In 1956 a Department of Contemporary Bulgarian Literature was established. In the following decades, it was subject to a number of administrative and structural changes.
The Department of Comparative Literary Studies is the only unit in the system of BAS and the main scientific and organizational center of Bulgarian comparative studies. Its researchers are highly trained specialists in foreign literature, teachers, consultants and experts, members of prestigious scientific and creative organizations in Bulgaria and abroad.
The Department of Literary Theory was established in 1948 together with the founding of the Institute for Literature at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The first head of the department was Acad. Panteley Zarev (1948 – 1970). From 1970 to 1991 the department was headed by Prof. Atanas Natev. During his time, the department began working on its two main projects: Methodological Problems of Literary Studies and Historical Poetics. These projects were being developed within an intensive international cooperation with the Academies of Sciences of DDR, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.
The library of the Institute for Literature is the largest one the system of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Its collection includes nearly 120,000 library documents: books, reference books, periodicals and graphics. Since its inception in 1948, it has developed as a library with a broad humanitarian profile to support the research activities of scholars at the Institute.